Kings XI Punjab must be delighted at the winning home run they have been enjoying. The win against SRH was their 6th consecutive victory at home. It looks like they are aiming for more as they looked solid in the chase against the SRH despite some late wobbles.
Losing the toss fielding first, Kings XI Panjab had early success in removing dangerous Jonny Bairstow for just 1 caught by Ashwin off Mujeeb Ur Rahman. The Kings did not allow Warner and Vijay to score freely by bowling tight lines on a difficult batting pitch. The Kings did not allow the scoring rate to go above 6 until the 14th over. And although Warner, who himself was slow, was holding one end up, the Kings tied the other to restrict SRH for 150.
The chase began nicely as Chris Gayle hit a 4 and a 6 in his 16 run cameo. Once Gayle was gone, Mayank Agarwal joined forces with KL Rahul and took KXIP to 132 in 17th over. A couple of tight overs made the situation interesting for the kings but ice-cool KL Rahul saw them home with 11 needed off the last over.
Apart from Ankit Rajpoot, all the KXIP bowlers went at 7.5 or more in their 4 overs. Ankit gave away just 21 runs in 4 overs. Mujeeb Ur Rahaman, Mohammed Shami, and R Ashwin took one wicket each. KL Rahul top-scored for KXIP with 71 with a strike rate of above 130. Mayank with 55 at about 125 strike rate to his name gave enough support to pocket the match for the Kings. Gayle (16), Mandeep Singh (2) and David Miller (1) failed to make much of an impact.
Sunrisers Hyderabad seems to be too strong a team to lose so many matches. They probably have the best opening pair of the season, a couple of cunning spinners and good death bowlers, yet they find themselves losing 3 of the 6 matches played so far. The loss against the KXIP would sting more because despite losing just 4 wickets, SRH could only score 150 in 20 overs.
Losing the toss batting first against KXIP they had a very slow start on a sluggish pitch. Bairstow got out flicking Mujeeb scoring just 1 in 6 balls. Warner tried to hold one end but the rest including Vijay Shankar, Mohammad Nabi, and Manish Pandey just could not get going on a slow pitch. Warner played out 62 balls and remained not out in the end for just 70. He would have wanted to score much more. At one point 140 looked a distant dream but 14 off 3 balls by Deepak Hoods gave the Sunrisers something to bowl at in tricky conditions.
Defending 150, SRH needed to strike early and keep taking wickets at the regular intervals. They got Gayle early but failed to restrict KL Rahul and Mayank Agarwal. When 19 were needed of last 3 overs, Sandeep Sharma and Kaul bowled two excellent overs for just 8 runs. However, SRH could not stop KL from scoring 11 off the last over.
David Warner’s 70 off 62 balls held the innings together but failed to provide the momentum when needed. In effect, he faced more than half the balls but failed to make more than half the runs for SRH. Vijay Shankar with run-a-ball 26 was the second highest scorer. Deepak Hoods’s 14 off 3 balls in the last over took SRH to 150. Sandeep Sharma was the peak of the bowlers with 2 crucial wickets for 21 in 4 overs. Rashid Khan bowled economic spell conceding just 20 in 4 overs. Nabi and Kaul went for over 10 per over costing SRH the match.
Buoyed by the win and the standing the points table the Kings will now take on mighty Mumbai Indian at Wankhede Stadium on 10th April 2019. Mumbai Indians are desperate for a win to move up in the rankings whereas the Kings would want to make their position strong. A fascinating game ahead of us.
Sunrisers Hyderabad would want to get back quick scoring at the top of the order against Delhi Capitals at home on 14th April 2019. This is a like for like contest between the teams who have won and lost 3 matches each. The Sunrisers though perhaps counting on the home advantage.
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